In today’s Gospel Our Lord predicts the destruction of the Temple, but also addresses the question of whether this will signify the end of the world. Although his disciples didn’t understand it at the time, he was preparing us all for the long haul. He warns us that whenever we think we have it figured out it is just as sign that we don’t. The societal upheaval in Palestine around the destruction of the Temple is just one of many since Our Lord gave this teaching: in the centuries that followed the very Romans who destroyed the Temple had their own empire fall, and in the East, Greek culture was overrun by Islamic culture.
In some parts of the world, even today, there are cultural upheavals and uprisings. Our Lord said they would come, but they are not a sign that the end is going to happen immediately. There will be cultural upheavals and natural disasters, but Our Lord tells us to not be terrified by them and to not follow the first person who comes along in his name saying he’s the Savior or that the end has arrived. Obviously on a natural and human level we’d have to be terrified by the thought of such events, but Our Lord invites us today to live these things on a supernatural level: with faith in him and hope that good will triumph.
Let’s renew our faith and hope today in the Son of Man, knowing that whatever upheavals may come, he will sustain us and triumph in the end.
Readings: Daniel 2:31–45; Daniel 3:57–61; Gospel Luke 21:5–11.